Saturday, August 28, 2010

Mt. Jihad Watch

recent notice on Jihad Watch (and a more recent update) calls the reader's attention to its unprecedented popularity and rise in readership.

This puts me in mind of a metaphor I've had with which to describe that website: a mountain.

I've been reading and commenting on Jihad Watch for several years. I'm not sure what year I first stepped onto its then gentler, greener slopes.

Prior to 911, I did not take much notice of Islam. I was peripherally intrigued by "oriental" literature set amorphously in various Islamic ambiances -- mainly the fiction and travelogues of 19th century writers Théophile Gautier, Pierre Loti, and Gustave Flaubert, as well as the literally fabulous 1,001 Arabian Nights -- but part of the fascination was its far-fetched quality, both in space and in time: who knew such fanatical ardor and atavistic violence would make a concerted comeback in the 21st century? (Well, a few souls who knew Islam well predicted something like an Islam Redivivus: e.g., Snouck Hurgronje, even with his preposterous idealism about Muslims; and more grimly lucid, Hilaire Belloc.) I recall in about 1999, nosing around in recondite books and dictionaries in the college library, my surprise when I saw essentially the same word for "foreigner" -- ferengi -- in an old Siamese-English dictionary and in a modern Kurdish dictionary. I recalled at the time from previous history classes that there was historically an "Islamic corridor" running from the Pacific to the Atlantic (a "corridor" both geographic and cultural), though I was only dimly aware of the militant expansionism that made that possible, and even less aware (thanks to my Western education) of the colossal scale of the violence and intellectually stultifying supremacism perpetrated by Muslims following their Islamic blueprint over the centuries.

A blueprint that we see, to our increasing alarm, has remained virtually unchanged into our own century.

For the first year immediately following 911, I participated in a discussion forum dedicated to the philosopher Eric Voegelin, where the comments were abuzz with the incident and its aftermath, as well as another philosophy discussion forum, "The Examined Life". When I reviewed those old comments of mine recently, I was struck (not to toot my own horn) at how fast I had progressed, so early, along the learning curve. Within six months of 911, I was already raising the question, "Is Islam itself directly related to this attack and other terrorist attacks around the world?" And I found a curious reflex among the other commenters for finding ways to intellectually shut down the directionality of the question, without even pursuing its implications with an open mind (let alone with actual research into mainstream Islamic texts).

At any rate, at some point -- probably late 2002 or early 2003 -- as I was surfing the Net, I kept coming across links to this relatively new website. One thing that caught my eye was the format -- the presentation of one story or event after another relating to Islam, punctuated with salty commentary by someone, apparently the editor of the site, whom later I would come to know as Robert Spencer. Over time, I got hooked, and kept coming back.

Jihad Watch is like a running AP or UPI newswire -- bringing to readers one story after another relating to the dangerous pathology of Islam. For the first few years, it was divided into two "Watches" -- Jihad Watch and Dhimmi Watch: the former relating generally to the pathology of Islam, the latter relating generally to the pathology of Westerners who remain myopic to the former. About a year ago I think, Spencer merged the two into one.

What has dawned on me over the past two or three years of reading Jihad Watch is that it is more than merely a "running AP or UPI newswire": For the regular and attentive reader, it is a mountain of data about the pathology of Islam, in all its myriad grotesquely fanatical violence. Indeed, it is more than a mere mountain: its collective horror and terror which it documents grows daily, weekly, monthly. It is a veritable volcano of the evil lava of Islamic data from around the world, growing larger and taller as the years ago by, building upon the historical tectonic plates of its bloody conquests of yore, and those in turn growing out of the subterranean, chthonic madness of the Hellish cult spawned in the Arabian desert 1400 years ago.

Readers who are fairly new to Jihad Watch, or who are fitful readers only now and then, will not have not experienced the full catastrophe that impresses itself upon a person who assimilates a relentlessly daily diet -- over weeks, months and years -- of the gruesome, insane and outrageously alarming words and deeds of Muslims all over the world. For those regular readers who stand on the ever-mounting peak of Mt. Jihad Watch, the full magnitude of the exigence of a zero tolerance is becoming increasingly clear, and we have grown wearily impatient with the various ways with which our fellow Westerners -- even many who claim to be something resembling "anti-Islam" -- try to avoid the rational condemnation of Islam itself, and of all Muslims who enable Islam.

Since I wrote that last sentence, the ground shifted from under me, as this Godawful mountain lurched yet another inch higher upon another report of yet another insane, psychotic, unjust, evil, dangerous datum about Islam -- not that high, perhaps, in the perspective of a newcomer here, or of a casual visitor now and then: but possessing the cumulative impact of all those years and thousands of stories cataloguing the nightmarishly Satanic fanaticism emanating out of the Islamic nebula.

One inch for a
Jihad Watch reader, a giant leap for Kuffarkind, as it slowly reawakes from its Western Amnesia to recover its former Islamnesia, bringing the clarity of the rarer air up here, and the smell of the coffee, to our nostrils.


Kinana said...

'the full magnitude of the exigence of a zero tolerance is becoming increasingly clear, and we have grown wearily impatient with the various ways with which our fellow Westerners -- even many who claim to be something resembling "anti-Islam" -- try to avoid the rational condemnation of Islam itself, and of all Muslims who enable Islam.'

Well stated. Thank you.

The apologists and moderate Muslims would simply argue, 'well you do not really understand true Islam, which is really peaceful and is not accurately depicted by Jihad Watch or on your website.'

It is difficult to know how to respond to such comment, which I often hear. One response I use is, ‘Well, do you understand Islam better than Al-Qaeda or Osama bin Laden?’ ‘Are they apostates?’

If they are not ready to publicly designate AQ and dozens of other similar organisations as hypocrites (in the Quranic sense) or apostates then they are not really serious about defending the peaceful version of Islam that they claim exists.

The individual Muslim may be ignorant of the nature of Islam as you (and Al-Qaeda) describe it but the major organisations are not: they are just enablers of this monster called Islam.

the author said...

Thanks Kinana. The problem with the counter-argument that we "do not understand true Islam" -- other than the one you noted -- is that the formative Islam of the founding texts and the history of Islam clear up through the end of the 19th century indicates that militant expansionism in order to make Islam politically and legally dominant everywhere is a crucial tenet of Islam.

Our critics would have to show

1) how, and why, Islam changed and shed its militant expansionist supremacism


2) why this supposed change in Islam is more "true" than the Islam represented by those Muslims who maintain fidelity with the Islam of the founding texts and the Islam of history.

Kinana said...

Thanks for your comments. To continue this theme.

The honest Muslims I have communicated with have no problem with admitting the eventual and inevitable take over of Western societies and the imposition of Sharia law on all non-Muslims.

It is the other types of Muslims and their apologists that confound me and deceive (if deliberate) the non-Muslim populations and tell the non-Muslim population what they want to hear. E.g. Islam is peace, compatible with democracy, provides for freedom of conscience, etc.

I thought I should mention an interesting coincidence. Only just yesterday after reading your reply to my comment I came across a group called ‘American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD)’.

They promote an Islam ‘which separates religion and state and is in complete harmony with the U.S. Constitution and our citizenship pledge.’ In other words: no Sharia. Other groupings also exist. E.g. British Muslims for a Secular Democracy, and Muslim Against Sharia (USA).

What I find in common with these three is the position that Islam can be reformed and Western societies have nothing to fear against this new reformed or true Islam as these groups define it.

So the problem becomes not Islam per se but a matter of interpretation and since you and I are not Muslims you really have no authority to say what Islam is and how it will change in order to not only be compatible with Western societies but also make a contribution to them. All the evidence compiled by Jihad Watch and your site and the multiple other counter-jihad sites are either lies or are only reflecting the actions of a few ‘bad’ Muslims whose actions will, over time, be ignored by the growing number of more enlightened and reformed peaceful Muslims.

These are the some of the more sophisticated ‘Muslims who enable Islam’ which you speak about. Even though they will say that you do not speak about the Islam that they speak about!

Thanks for continuing the struggle.

Cyril said...

I suspect that Mr. Spencer is at the very edge of the critical mass of the awakening of free peoples to the danger of Islamic tyranny. Bravo.